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Saturday Plenary Speakers 1:00pm - 2:15pm


Plenary1: Transform How You Approach Challenging Behaviors, by Barb O’Neill

Join Barb as participants learn the strategies to successfully support children exhibiting challenging behaviors. Whether the problem is hitting, biting, throwing toys, or children not following directions you will explore all the necessary tools for designing effective, strengths-based interventions. Through a combination of case study examples, interactive exercises, and video clip reflections participants will be introduced to the “Transform Challenging Behavior Method” and be guided in applying the strategies to immediately help the children in your classroom or program. Leave with increased confidence in your ability to support even the most challenging children and with concrete tools for doing so.

About the presenter: Barb O’Neill, Ed.D. helps early childhood teachers and programs transform children’s use of challenging behavior using play and the theater arts, as well as more traditional approaches. She has previously worked as a preschool teacher, special education teacher, university professor, and director of a Reggio-inspired center. She has researched and published on the use of improv-based play intervention and interactive oral storytelling as tools to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood classrooms. Barb has also written about the ways that theater improv and storytelling can promote social-emotional development and prevent children’s use of aggressive behavior. She provides trainings, coaching and consulting to programs struggling with behavior or that want to more successfully include children with disabilities.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Plenary2: From Chaos to Calm: 7 Secrets to Turn your Circle Times Around, by Jocelyn Manzanarez

Tired of feeling like a peace keeper at circle time? Jocelyn Manzanarez is a dynamic, highenergy early learning speaker who will share seven secrets to turn your circle times around. Based on research and many years of classroom experience, she will demonstrate effective ways to tackle challenges that may be standing in the way of learning and fun.This fast-moving breakout session is packed full of felt stories, songs, movement games and more. Participants will gain valuable skills to use when they return to their early learning sessions on Monday morning.

About the presenter: Jocelyn received her BA from the University of Montana in Music Education and her MA in Music Education from the University of Washington in 2005. She is a certified K-12 music educator in Washington state as well as a Washington STARS trainer. After moving to Washington State, she taught elementary general music for one year in Port Orchard and 3 years in Enumclaw. While Jocelyn greatly enjoyed her time there, she felt children needed to have their “inner musician” awakened sooner than Kindergarten. She is a frequent trainer for Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Childcare Resources, and King County Library Systems.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth and Development

Plenary3: Building a Child Friendly Community – Whose Responsibility is it?, by Tanya Andrews (CANCELLED)

“Children are the future.” “Children are our greatest treasure.” We are all familiar with these statements. How do the decisions we make as a community and a nation reflect those statements? How do we mobilize around a strong, collective image of the child to change the way systems surrounding our children and families think and behave? Tacoma is undergoing a slow, intentional, authentic community transformation. Come hear how the Children’s Museum
of Tacoma and other early learning leaders have asked the provocative questions and helped begin a movement to build “Child Friendly Pierce County.” Participants will be invited to: explore how to convene and mobilize to make change happen; think about their organization’s role in changing community; and consider how partnering will help get there sooner.

About the presenter: Tanya Andrews, Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, has worked in the museum field
since 1993. Andrews is Secretary of the Association of Children’s Museums’ Board of Directors and chair of the Association’s
International Task Force, as well Board President of First 5 FUNdamentals, Pierce County’s early learning coalition. Under
Andrews’ leadership the Children’s Museum was honored as a finalist for the National Medal from the Institute of Museum
and Library Services. Other awards include University of Washington Tacoma Non Profit Leader of the Year 2016, Tacoma
Chamber of Commerce New Tacoma Award, and the Association of Children’s Museum Promising Practice Award.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Families and Community Partnerships

Saturday Networking Lunch: Participants who do not wish to attend a plenary session can participate in the informal gathering to meet and network with other professionals and/or visit any of the vendor booths in the exhibit hall. Continuing Education Credit is NOT available for participation in this option.